Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Recipe Box Favorites

A little explanation about this recipe designation... These recipes are basically pure nostalgia from my recipe box! (Though hopefully they have other merits as well!) My first recipe box was this green one on top—it seems very appropriate for the '70s. That filled up a few years ago and I couldn't find any I liked in stores, so I ended up getting the white one on eBay. I didn't realize it when I ordered it, but I'm almost positive my mother's recipe box was this very same design when I was a kid. (Unfortunately it was thrown out years ago and she now has an ugly plastic one.) I like the fact that these are a sort of history, containing artifacts from throughout my life, going back to age 7 or 8. And it includes not just hand-written recipes from friends and relatives, but also many snipped out from newspapers, magazines and, increasingly, the internet.

So the recipes in this subset go way back. I've included the actual index card, often somewhat stained and with dubious spelling and handwriting!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

4-H Pledge

Just in case you've ever wondered what those "H"s stand for! I took numerous 4-H cooking classes as a kid, which explains the presence of this in my recipe box.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Generally we make and decorate sugar cookies for Christmas, but last year I tried this recipe because I wanted to hang them on the tree and I thought it would be a little hardier than sugar cookie dough. Man, it was good! Much better than the gingerbread I remember as a kid. So most of the cookies still ended up on the tree, but not all.

This recipe is from Wheatleigh, a fancy schmancy resort here in the Berkshires. I’ve never been, but they printed this recipe in our local paper.

1 cup shortening
1 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Approximately 5 cups all purpose flour

Combine shortening, molasses and sugar in a pot. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat and add cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir in up to 5 cups of flour to make a stiff but workable dough. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Chill rolled dough for a half hour, then cut into desired shapes. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, or until firm.

Cool completely, then decorate as you like!